October 5, 2009

From Contract to Publication

Last year, the end of October, I signed a contract with 4RV Publishing, LLC, to publish my middle grade urban fantasy. As you might imagine, I was whooping and hollerin’ it up! At last!

Since that time, my book has undergone several edits, both full and partial, and I’ve had to wait patiently (okay, sometimes impatiently) for things to happen, i.e. making the suggested changes by the editing staff, waiting for the publisher to buy the ISBN numbers, and whatever organizational things they needed to do on their end. I am glad to say that the long wait is almost over. The book is almost to the layout folks, and I should have a finished copy in my hot little hands soon!

I would like to say that during the wait that I’ve written and edited another book, but alas, that is not the case. Have I just been playing around? No, far from it. The publication of the book necessitated I do certain things on my end to prepare for the marketing and promotional aspects of the book.

I had to research and create a media kit. I took a crash course in marketing (a must buy is Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s book, The Frugal Book Promoter), looking for all the information I could get. In addition to the media kit, I created both a blog and website, joined numerous social networking groups and joined groups related to the topic of my book. Much to my dismay, for each group that I joined, I had to figure out how to use their particular site builder, create a profile and so forth, and remain a contributing member to that site. More learning. I have also guest posted on other’s blogs, been interviewed on other’s blogs and been interviewed on the radio.

Fortunately, with my next book, a lot of this stuff won’t have to be repeated. I’ll already have the website, the blog, and so on, but I will still have to post regularly, and keep my website updated.

Lest you think I’m being lazy, I am involved in writing several more books. A little here, a little there, and they slowly get done. I have attended a couple of writing conferences, which were outstanding, and great for networking. I learned a lot.

Speaking of learning, for me, research for my books is an ongoing process. Just when I think I’ve researched my subject to death, I run across another book, another website, that has “just” the information I need to add depth and richness to my book. Fortunately, I really like the research aspect.

So if you think signing the contract is an “end all” proposition, you’ll soon find out that isn’t the case. There is more hard work ahead, but it is manageable, and eventually, you find yourself at the end game, for that book, and before you know it, you’ll be selling your books!

Katie Hines
Children's Author
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Katie-Hines/1442953493
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/katiehines


Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Welcome, Katie. Great post. The journey from contract to publication is a bumpy one at times. Thanks for the insight on what to expect.

For those who saw my post about Katie's blog, I misspoke about the prize for commenting. It's a Smart Women Read Romance t-shirt and some romance books...not the pink ribbon basket. Sorry, I was confused.

Donna M. McDine said...

Anna, thanks for hosting Katie today. She certainly gives the reader a grasp that one's writing career is not only about writing it involves so much more.

Best wishes to you both for your continued success!

Children’s Author
Write What Inspires You Blog
The Golden Pathway Story book Blog
Donna M. McDine’s Website

Anonymous said...

Hi Katie.
I hear you. My book will be out this winter. What's the target date? Is it before Christmas or after? You've got me. Your guess is as good as mine.
I'm spending all my free time getting ready for that fateful day when I hold my book in my hot little hands.
I go from impatiently dying for it to be a reality & fearful I won't get everthing done in time. Sound familiar?
There are two books I'm wading through; The Frugal Book Promoter by Caroly Howard-Johnson and Promo Paks 2 by Janet Elaine Smith. They're great books and full of so much information.
Good luck Katie.
J. Aday Kennedy
The Differently-AbledChildren's Author
Coming this winter “Klutzy Kantor” picture book

Gwynlyn MacKenzie said...

Wow! Sounds like you're trying to scare off the competition!

Just kidding. I've heard others lament as you have about the amount of additional work thrust onto them by what they thought the end of their trek. It's rough and demanding, but well worth it.

Best of luck with your book!

Susan Macatee said...

Hi, Katie!

Congratulations on your new contract! I have to agree, learning how to market books is a big time suck, but it's necessary and publishers expect it of authors.

Good luck with your new projects!!

Ginger Simpson said...

Great post, Katie. The waiting is the killing part for me. I equate submitting a story for consideration to sending your child off to kindergarten for the very first time, then worrying the entire time.

I can't imagine any other career than being an author that offers the same agony for free: Editorial whips, delays, bad publishing experiences, nail biting, rejections, unkind reviews...the list goes on and on. BUT when you're really lucky, there's nothing quite like that happy dance to celebrate and finally holding your OWN book in your hot little hands. I keep questioning my own sanity. Why did I choose to write. I guess being a runway model was out given a few issues like my overly large butt and excessive poundage, so...*lol*

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Ah, the road to publication may be long, with detours along the way, but the end result is worth every frustating minute. Congratulations, Katie, on your success. Enjoy.



robynl said...

Katie, so many things in between the beginning and the end to be aware of. wow!!!

Dianne G. Sagan said...


This is a great article. I'm in the middle of "waiting" and I agree it isn't really what we think before we sign a book contract. The editing is a challenge sometimes. I'm experiencing a few bumps, but have spent a ton of time building my network like you say. It always helps to hear that someone else is going the the same experience a long with me. :)

ddurance said...

Lots of changes, huh Katie? Good changes of course. :-)